Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 March 2016 Deuteronomy 31:8‏‏

Deuteronomy 31:8.   And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

Oh friends, what a difference a difference in a day can make in the lives of mortal men eh! Yes sir, the ole fella is waxing philosophical this morning! (smile) 

But all that means is that yesterday was bright and sunny with warm blue clouds floating on high, and it automatically invoked emotions of joy and frivolity, of feelings that all is right with the world, even if that is far from true. But overall a sunny day brings a sense of well being. 

Today however, it’s raining, the streets are wet and slippery, the skies are dark and the soul of man tends towards that same attitude; a dark and dreary feeling, one of nothing’s right, even though everything might be right. 

It just goes to show how our physical circumstances tend to have a strong effect on us. Now yesterday I was out and about with a carefree attitude, today though, I wake up and see the rain and I’m steupsing and somewhat annoyed because I have to go out in such uncomfortable weather. 

But you know what my precious people, in God’s realm though, those things ought not to affect us so strongly, because where our God is concerned everyday is a beautiful day, loaded with all kinds of new blessings and mercies to uplift and improve our physical, emotional and mental circumstances. 

Christians are supposed to be people who run on an even keel, not ones who are ruled by the vagaries of their current situations. That’s why I want to share something from my One More Day – Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness. I believe I’ve shared it some time ago, but it’s till useful today. 

The quote is attributed to one Ed Howe, which one I’m not sure, because they are so many of them. (smile) However it says: ‘If you don’t learn to laugh at trouble, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you grow old.’ 

I guess he’s trying to say that when you get old, trouble is what you have more than anything else, so you might as well learn to laugh at it, otherwise you won’t be laughing much. 

And the text says: ‘Laughing with others is important. Learning to laugh at our own problems is even more important. Since we will continue to live with situations that cause us all types of problems, we may as well learn to laugh at ourselves.’ 

And believe you me friends, laughter is the best free remedy available for all kinds of illnesses and problems. When we laugh, it brings on a more positive attitude in our spirits and we don’t seem to feel as dreary and forlorn as we were before, although there may be cause to feel that way. 

And as the text continues: ‘Laughter is a gift we give ourselves. We can carry it with us wherever we go, and it will always be ours.’ 

And all of God’s people declared a loud and lusty ‘Praise the Lord!’ then burst out laughing. 

Ah mih people, laughter is indeed a good remedy for whatever is wrong with our souls. And when that attitude is combined with the strong and faithful promise of our Bit, mankind will surely be able to move mountains. (smile) ‘And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’ 

Now why are we still so fearful in our daily lives eh, even with such a promise from our ever-faithful and omnipotent God? 

It just means that we have not fully surrendered our lives to Him; our trust and faith are not to the level they ought to be. But friends, what’s the point of having promises if we don’t sincerely and fully believe them? None whatsoever! 

Now listen to Bruh David as he counselled Israel and Cousin Sol. ‘Now therefore, in the sight of all Israel the congregation of the Lord, and in the audience of our God, keep and seek for all the commandments of the Lord your God: that ye may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you for ever. 

And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever. Take heed now; for the Lord hath chosen thee to build a house for the sanctuary: be strong and do it.’ (1 Chr.28:8-10) 

Oh my fellow believers, that is the exact attitude we need to adopt and follow today! We must continually seek God and keep His commandments and be strong and do whatever it is He has called us to do. That is the only way we can win this war against darkness and evil and further the LOVE Revolution of Jesus! 

So, please, let’s show ourselves to be true believers and get started on that righteous journey, right now nuh! Much LOVE!

…Jesus has triumphantly risen from the dead…and sits at the right hand of God the Father interceding for us…so what’s there to be afraid of eh…absolutely NOTHING…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 March 2016 Deuteronomy 31:8‏

Deuteronomy 31:8.   And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

Well friends, it’s a bright and sunny, though somewhat chilly morning in my area. But yuh know what, it’s so beautiful that we won’t even notice the chill because our hearts, minds, bodies and souls are concentrated, are completely focused on Almighty God! 

And when that happens, brother, nothing gets in the way of His work, His praise and glory! 

And all God’s children said a loud and proud, ‘Praise the Lord, for He is indeed a great and wonderful God!’ 

And that He is my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. For who else would have sacrificed His only Son so that he could provide a way out of eternal death for a bunch of human ingrates eh? Absolutely no other Deity! 

And for that we ought to be eternally grateful. Just look at how we’ve been celebrating the wonder, the majesty, the LOVE, the magnanimity and faithfulness of Christ’s resurrection these past few days nuh. 

It’s the greatest thing that has ever happened to sinful man! And though we especially celebrate it around Easter time, we ought to remember and be thankful for it each and every day of our lives, both the mortal and the eternal one. 

And since today is Wednesday, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail with truth, sincerity and great passion, for those three things, especially passion, are sadly lacking in the believers’ lives these days. And unfortunately, we can’t be successful at anything, unless there’s noticeable passion in our behaviour. 

As one wailer now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh my brethren, isn’t it great to be alive and walking in step with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? Oh it surely is! There’s absolutely nothing else like it in this evil and ungodly world! 

And without further ado, we’ll get right to our Bit, because we have plenty appropriate scripture to share this morning. ‘And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’  

Yes friends, that is what our great God said to His people through Moses long long ago, and it is the same thing He’s still saying to us today. So why are we so anxious, doubtful and fearful of life eh? 

That attitude surely doesn’t deserve the name of Christianity for we’ve been assured on numerous occasions in the Good Book and our individual lives that our omnipotent and ever-faithful God will lead and guide us and never forsake us. 

So let’s look at some scriptures that declare such assuredness, and which will hopefully strengthen us in these sad and trying times. Listen to this proclamation from earlier on in Deuteronomy, when Moses gave the Israelites laws concerning war. 

‘And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people, And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them; For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies to save you.’ (Deut.20:2-4) 

Oh precious people, what encouragement and assurance that is! And it still holds true for us today, when we go out to fight our daily battles against the godless and the heathen who are so desperately trying to remove Jehovah God from our society. 

And that, my fellow believers, is something we must never allow to happen. And they are using the age-old tactic of divide and conquer against us. Note the amount of division and disharmony amongst the Christian element. Lucifer and his evil cronies are not so divided and disharmonious, that’s why they are holding the upper hand right now. 

But as strong and true believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we need to strenuously fight back and regain the lost territory. Jesus’ LOVE Revolution depends solely on us. If we don’t fight seriously, He would have died in vain. 

And just think about it nuh, our God has promised to go before us and lead us and not forsake nor leave us. What more can we ask eh? Nothing really! 

And we’ll end with one more promise of faithfulness on the part of our immortal God; this from when He handed over the leadership of the Israelites to Joshua, after Moses’ death. 

‘There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Josh.1:5) 

Oh friends, Joshua would have been rather foolish not to believe God’s promise, especially after he had seen God’s mighty work and miracles throughout the Exodus from Egypt. 

Now please let us believe that promise which is also being held out to us today, especially when we are confronted by the miraculous and LOVING work carried out by God in the resurrection of Jesus. There’s no reason to fear, my people, when Jesus is foremost, is front and centre in our lives. 

So if He isn’t there today, please, please, let’s put Him there nuh, so that we can go out and be strong and steadfast and do His work without fear or anxiety. This I pray, in His Holy Name. Much LOVE!

…with Jesus leading the way…Christians have no reason whatsoever to be anxious or afraid…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 March 2016 Deuteronomy 31:8

Deuteronomy 31:8.   And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

And then it was Tuesday my friends – Easter Tuesday! Now that means it’s also time for the great spectacle of goat races in Tobago! 

Yes my brethren, it’s time to get us down to Buccoo and enjoy an afternoon of goat races and great partying at possibly the only stadium in the world built to host that sport. Only in T&T, you say! 

They had a small offering while I was there the other day and it was really enjoyable. I hadn’t seen goat races in many a year. I vaguely remember the last time as being completely wasted and partying down the place with a friend’s sister on the verandah of a house near the track. 

Ah Lord eh! Those were the days! In those times they had individual parties at houses that surrounded the track. But now, progress has come along, and it’s held in a brand new state of the art facility, with all the amenities; food, drink, music, etc, all in one place. So don’t hesitate to check it out. (smile) 

And since Today is Tuesday, it’s of the utmost importance that we declare our Tuesday Mantra, with sincerity, joy and a true sense of belief and purpose. 

All together now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s exactly who we are, the beloved of God; a fact that NO ONE can take away from us. So as many of us go back out to work after the long Easter weekend, let’s hold that thought, that fact, close to our hearts, and let it empower us as we go about our day, doing the Lord’s work. 

Let’s remember too that Jesus is our friend, in fact our BEST Friend; one who sticketh, stands closer with us than a brother, as Cousin Sol says in Proverbs 18:24. And basically, all we are called to do is share His LOVE with the world. Now that shouldn’t be too hard to do, should it? (smile) 

Unfortunately though, our world today is not interested in true LOVE, the agape, the brotherly kind of LOVE that Jesus desires to share. But friends, we’ve got to keep on keeping on and pursue our vocation to LOVE with a strong, never-ending zeal, for that’s what makes us true believers and followers of the triumphantly risen Christ! 

Now here is something from our One Year book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This one is titled ‘At Such Times.’ 

And it says: ‘God, there are times In the midst of heartache and heartbreak When there is no comfort, no solace Anywhere at all. There are times When in my crumbling state of mind I feel I can no longer endure – Not for a day, not even an hour. 

It is at such times, O God That I draw heavily upon Your unfathomable LOVE. At such times I implore Your transforming peace. At such times I live By the power and promises Of a Father who cares infinitely more Than I can begin to grasp or comprehend. Today, dear God, is a “such time.” 

Oh my precious and beautiful people of God, I’m sure that resonates so truthfully with us all, because there are times in all our lives when we feel lost and alone, and Almighty God is the ONLY One who understands our situation, and the ONLY One who can provide us true solace and comfort! 

So let us never be afraid, ashamed or whatever, to call upon our heavenly Father for His peace and LOVE, because He’s always there, ready and able to help us. 

And the Biblical Promise for that poem is also our Bit for today: ‘And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’ 

Yes friends, our God made that promise through Moses oodles of years ago, and it still stands even to this day! 

And all God’s people loudly declared: ‘O heavenly Father, thank You for Your promises! We don’t always put our full trust in them, but deep down we know that they are solid, solid as a rock, and that You will never renege on any of them, because You are a faithful and true God. 

Please help us to stand more securely on the many promise You have made to us over the years, for that is the only way we will ever successfully handle the evil and ungodly world that now surrounds us. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.’ 

And one of the best-known instances of our God going before His people and neither forsaking nor failing them is this passage from Exodus when the Lord took the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt. 

‘And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light, to go by day and night. He took not away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.’ (Ex.13:21-22) 

And please note the last verse there friends. I believe the writer added it to assure us that God did keep His promise for the long haul. And we’ll close with these words from the scholars re the pillars of cloud and fire. 

’13:21. This glowing cloud was the shekinah glory of Yahweh, which later filled the tabernacle (40:35) and then Solomon’s temple (1 Kings 8:10), and finally departed from the temple and the city just before the Babylonian captivity (Ezek 8-11). 

This “glory of the God of Israel” will not return to Israel until the second coming of Christ (Ezek.43:1-7), at which time the glowing cloud will once again cover God’s earthly people (Is.4:5). It guided the people through the wilderness, assured them of God’s presence, and protected them from the Egyptians (cf.14:19-20).’ 

Oh friends, what a faithful and mighty God we serve. Please never let us forget that. Much LOVE!

…the God of Israel…faithful and true…is His name and nature… 

P.S. Please excuse the lateness. Just too much late night Easter Monday partying. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 March 2016 1 Corinthians 15:57

1 Corinthians 15:57.   But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Well mih people, it’s the big day, Monday! And ah hear a lot of moaning and groaning and hissing of teeth in the background. But that’s only coming from those unlucky ones who have to go to work this Easter Monday. (smile) 

Many of us though have the day off, which we’ll most likely spend in celebration with friends and family, giving thanks and praise to Almighty God for burying our sins with Jesus in hell, then raising Him from the dead, clean and whole, alive and kicking, ready to rule the world till eternity, bringing all His enemies under His footstool, having every knee bow to Him, and every tongues confess that He is Lord indeed to the glory of God! (Phil.2:9-11) Praise the Lord! 

And the good news is that once we become associated with Jesus, we’ll become children of God and will also embrace eternal life as heirs and joint heirs with Him! Mama Mia! What could be sweeter eh? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! 

Me, I won’t be able to do any celebrating until in the afternoon though, when I return from the funeral of a friend’s son. Last year he bought his seventeen year old son a vintage Mustang sports car with a ridiculous amount of horse power, and apparently a week ago, the lad ran into a guard rail and met his unfortunate demise. 

Ah Lord eh! There’s nothing worse than a parent losing a child, especially one just on the verge of adulthood. So you can imagine the heartache Jehovah God must have felt seeing His beautiful Son all battered and bruised on that wooden cross on Calvary Hill, all on behalf of a bunch of ungrateful sinners. 

But that was the only way to pay for the sins of humanity, and He LOVED us so much that He was willing to sacrifice His only Son, Jesus Christ. Oh glory to God my people! And I don’t think we truly appreciate the Lord’s magnanimous gesture nuh, else we wouldn’t be behaving as sinfully and godless as we are. 

Anyway, since it’s Monday, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to encourage those who have to go out and labour today. And friends, please, please let this be a wonderful, wonderful rendition, because it’s Easter Monday, and our Lord and Saviour has just defeated Lucifer and his world of darkness, all for our sake, rising triumphantly from the grave, so that we could be set free, be washed an cleansed in His precious blood. 

So as one, glorious choir of angels now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh my fellow believers, that was magnificent! It was truly a glorious choir of angels because all heaven sang along with us! And you could see the proud fire in Jesus’ eyes and the bright  smile that lit His handsome face as He energetically swung His choir director’s baton. The Father even gave us a standing ‘O’! Wow! 

So now, having pleased heaven with our song, let’s go out and please them with our actions in the evil and ungodly world that surrounds us. Now friends, let’s get into some serious scripture, detailing our victory in Christ. 

Listen to Bruh Paul lay it down. ‘Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump (trumpet): for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave (Hades), where is thy victory? 

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain (futile) in the Lord.’ (1 Cor.15:50-58) 

Yes friends, that’s how it’s going to be!  Our mortal and corruptible bodies will be changed into immortal, incorruptible ones and then Isaiah’s prophecy will be fulfilled. (Is.25:8) The world of darkness will be defeated, and victory will be ours through Christ Jesus. 

And all God’s people sang out a joyful and grateful: ‘Thank You Jesus! Thank You Father God! Thank You Holy Spirit! Thank You for giving us victory, over, hell, death and the grave! We LOVE You, and will faithfully serve and worship you till eternity…and even after!’ (smile) 

Now let’s close with some info from the scholars. ‘15:52. At the last trump: This is not the last trumpet of Revelation 11:15, but the last trumpet of 1 Thessalonians 4:16. It is so designated because it signals the end of the present age. Two groups are distinguished. The dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed: The term dead refers to those who have died in Christ. The term we refers to those who are still living at the time of the Rapture.’  

So my people, this Easter Monday let’s go out and celebrate the Risen Christ in whatever we do, not forgetting though, Granny’s sage advice: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ Now that is wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!

…in the battle for the world…Christ is the runaway victor…bless His holy name…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 March 2016 1 Corinthians 15:22

1 Corinthians 15:22.    For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

HAPPY   EASTER!

Oh friends, oh friends, is Easter Sunday! Glory Hallelujah! It’s a time to sing and dance, praise, worship, magnify and glorify our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! For since the beginning of time there has never been a day like this one! A day of such joyful celebration and giving of heartfelt thanks and gratitude! 

And here too, since the original fall of man, are the three most important words ever spoken: ‘HE IS RISEN!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, Christ is risen indeed! All praise and glory be to our God, the Father of grace and mercy and forgiveness and LOVE, who so skillfully and wisely orchestrated and engineered the events that led up to this magnificent day some two thousand years ago, and by which, through hungry hope and expectant faith we still live these many years hence! 

And so we ought to, because it’s the greatest miracle that has ever been done; a man, the Son of God, being raised from the dead to eternal life! Mama Yo! No wonder we describe our heavenly Father as being omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present, for only such a mighty, all-seeing and all-knowing Deity could conceive of such a brilliant plan, and then successfully bring it to fruition! 

Yeh friends, I don’t know about you all nuh, but I am certainly ecstatic to be alive and able to celebrate this Easter Day! You know Christmas is big and wonderful and exciting and all that, but it’s Easter that makes the big difference in the disposition of our souls. 

Without Jesus’ death and resurrection we would have been forced to spend eternity separated from the Father, in the sordid, evil company of Beelzebub. Now who in their right mind would ever want to spend any time at all with him eh, much less all of eternity?  Steups! 

Sadly though, some foolish and evil men are consciously making that choice. However, with Jesus’ selfless sacrifice, offering His life on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven, we now have the wonderful option of spending eternity in heaven with the Holy Trinity! 

Now what can be more reassuring, exciting and momentous than that eh mih breddren? NOTHING AT ALL! 

Unfortunately, the unwise ones who are choosing Beelzebub over Jesus, will have a rude awakening come the Judgement day, when they are cast into the lake of fire with their leader for all eternity. 

And the trouble is that no one but the Father knows the day and time of that monumental event, so it’s necessary, in fact essential that we come to faith, place our sincere trust and belief in Jesus asap, and for sure before we depart this earthly life, for once our hearts are still, so too our options are dead, finito! 

That’s why I keep encouraging us to sincerely turn to Jesus Christ and follow Him, for He is indeed the WAY, the LIGHT, the LIFE and the TRUTH of this world! No one comes to Jehovah God but through Him! 

Oh my people, Christ died on Good Friday and all our sins died with Him. He rose on Easter Sunday clean as a whistle, having defeated hell, death and the grave! 

Wow! That means all of mankind has a new chance to be reconciled to their Creator, through Jesus. And how are we assured of that? Listen to Bruh Paul’s words on the subject to the Corinthians. 

‘But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept (have fallen asleep, have died). For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.’ (1 Cor.15:20-22)  

Ah friends, through Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden, we were all committed to a life of sin, born with a sinful nature, but through the LOVE and grace and forgiveness of our magnificent and magnanimous God, Jesus Christ paid the enormous price for our sins. 

Since the price of sin is death, it meant that only a sinless soul could reprieve us from a death sentence. And since Jesus was the only sinless soul besides the Father in existence, the awful but extremely liberating task fell to Him. And like the stalwart giant that He is, He carried out His task with a steadfast sense of purpose. Oh precious people, if we could only be so steadfast and purposeful in following Him eh! 

And I purposely chose not to get into all the descriptions of the Easter Morn in the Good Book because we all know the story of how Jesus’ followers came to the tomb and found the stone rolled back and the tomb empty, and the two angels who asked them why they were seeking the living amongst the dead and reminded them of His warning: ‘The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ (Luke 24:7) 

Also how Mary Magdalene in her sorrow mistook Jesus for the gardener and almost died from an overdose of joy when she realized it was her Lord and Master. (John 20:11-18) 

Simply regurgitating it didn’t appeal to me, and this is where the Holy Spirit led me, and I do hope you all enjoy this slightly different offering. (smile) 

And I want to end this Easter morning with some rather appropriate words of warning from Jesus, re the Son’s relationship with the Father. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 

For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgement also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation (condemnation).’ (John 5:25-29) 

Oh my fellow believers, please, please, today let’s pay special attention to those warning words of Jesus nuh, for our very destiny depends on our actions down here on earth. And as we go out and celebrate this wonderful Easter season, please let’s also remember Granny’s wise advice. ‘Drunk or sober, please mind your business.’ 

For it is in these times of great joy and celebration that we tend to let our hair down a little too much and allow Lucifer to get a toehold in our souls. Let’s be wise not do that this weekend nuh. Much LOVE!

…death could not conquer Him…the grave could not hold Him…for as the Son of man…He was the giver of life…eternal life…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 March 2016 Philippians 1:29

Philippians 1:29.    For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

Well friends, all the Good Friday hoopla is finally over. The feast of the Passover is in progress. The Romans and the ruling Jewish class are happy that Jesus the interloper, troublemaker and very possible threat to their power and political status is dead. They are exhaling a big sigh of relief and resting satisfied in the culmination of their most heinous and criminal act; causing Jesus to be crucified on lies and circumstantial evidence. 

Thanks to Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, His lifeless body is now lying in a new tomb sealed by a big rock, with soldiers guarding it, so that there is no chance of any mischief from His rag tag band of followers. 

Meanwhile, in reality, that group of followers have fled hither, thither and yon, fearful for their own lives, because of their association with Jesus. Sincere disappointment also clouds their spirits, because they had had such high hopes for and in their leader. All His great sermons and miracles and wonderful philosophy had fuelled their hearts and minds with dreams of a much better and brighter day. 

But now, in the blink of an eye, after His triumphal entry into Jerusalem some six days earlier, (Palm Sunday) everything  had suddenly been turned topsy-turvy by His sudden betrayal, arrest, mock trial and death on that wooden cross at Calvary. I guess, like any of us mired in a similarly difficult situation, they were wondering what would become of their lives, since they had given up everything to follow Jesus. 

Judas, His betrayer, has gone and hung himself, remorse and guilt having gotten the better of him. Then Peter, who had denied knowing Jesus three times, was tearing out his hair, wondering how he could have done something that stupid and cowardly. Mary, Jesus’ mother, per His dying directive, had gone to live with John, the disciple whom He LOVED. And the once solid band of believers was now in total disarray. 

It had all happened so suddenly that they had all been taken by surprise, although Jesus had tried to warn them of His impending troubles. As they were going up to Jerusalem, to celebrate the Feast of the Passover, Jesus had tried to tell them what was about to happen. 

‘Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles (Roman rulers): and they shall mock him, and shall scourge (flog) him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.’ (Mark 10:33-34) 

But obviously none of them were paying serious attention to His words. Even the night of the Last Supper, when He informed them that one of the group would betray Him, they still didn’t take it seriously, although they all wondered and asked if it was them. But now things had come to up bump; the Master was dead, and they were like lost, fearful sheep scattered to the four winds, without the LOVE and guidance of their shepherd. 

Yes friends, that was the general state of affairs in Jerusalem, come Saturday morning. I guess it taught that first band of believers a serious lesson; namely that being associated with Jesus could be a dangerous endeavour, entailing suffering and persecution. 

I sincerely hope it has also taught us that too, some two thousand years later, as our Bit details. For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.’ 

It’s not all wine and roses my people, we ofttimes have to get down and dirty and also suffer some on Jesus behalf. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great life, and I wouldn’t trade it for any other, but like life itself, there are problems and difficulties to encounter, bear and overcome, obviously with Jesus’ help. 

As Bruh Paul declares earlier in the chapter: ‘For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.’ (Phil.1:21) 

And the scholars tell us: ‘1:21. For explains why Paul is just as happy to magnify the Lord by death as by life (v.20). It is because to him, to live is Christ. He means that living consists of serving and glorifying the Son of God; apart from this, his life has neither meaning nor purpose. 

But why is Paul just as content to magnify Christ by death? Because to him to die is gain; that is even though living and serving God are good, death is a graduation to something better: it is a promotion to the heavenly presence of Christ and perfect fellowship with Him.’ 

Now friends, all of that is perfectly true, but like most of you, I don’t think I’m ready for that heavenly promotion just yet. I still have a lot of serving and magnifying and glorifying to do down here on earth. (smile) 

But seriously though my people, like Bruh Paul, our main objective, whether down here on earth, or in heaven on high should be to seriously magnify Christ. That ought to be our basic desire; whatever we do or say should have God’s glorification as its number ONE objective. 

Yuh see all the really rough times Bruh Paul went through fearlessly for Christ’s sake! And Christ brought him safely through them all! Now most of us won’t have to go through anything like that, but we will meet opposition and even persecution, if we become and behave like serious followers of Christ. 

Now that is the number ONE question: how many of us are willing to go through trials and tribulation in Christ’s service? 

And what better day to ponder and consider that question my people, than on the Saturday between Good Friday, when Christ sacrificed His life on the cross, and Easter Sunday, when He rose triumphantly from the grave? 

Please, let’s all do that today nuh. And hopefully we’ll all come up with the same resounding answer: ‘Yes! We will go to the grave magnifying our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! After what He’s done for us, we can do nothing less!’ 

Now let’s go out and put that promise into action this Easter Saturday nuh, before we have time to think about it and change our minds. (smile) Much LOVE!

…by His stripes we are healed…by His precious blood shed on the cross we are saved…thank You Jesus for salvation…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 March 2016 Philippians 1:29‏‏‏‏

Philippians 1:29.   For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

BLESSED  GOOD  FRIDAY!

And then it was Friday – Good Friday. Yes my brethren, it is one of the most historic and commemorative days in the Christian calendar, because this is the day that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ sacrificed His sinless and holy life for us upon that old rugged cross at Calvary… 

And all God’s people gave a grateful shout of ‘All praise and glory be to the Lamb who was slain for us! May His name be revered for ever and ever!’ 

Ah mih people, it’s a sad day, but also a glad day. It’s sad because of the outrageous shame and punishment Jesus went through for our sake. But by the same token, there was gladness because that sacrificial death heralded our cleansing, our reconciliation to Almighty God! 

And all God’s people sang ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Without it we would have been all slated for death and hell, forever separated from the Father. How awful that would have been eh? But with Christ’s sacrifice, a way was prepared for us to come to Him in repentance and confession and be adopted into His household. 

Glory to God for LOVING us so much that He would give His only begotten Son to die for our disgusting sins, to bring us once again into fellowship with Him and calling us His children! 

Nothing can be sweeter and nicer and better and whatever word(s) you choose, than being a part of the family of Jehovah God, the omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present ONE who created the universe and still rules it from His throne on high! 

Now to many of the world’s population, this day is no different from any other. They still sing out ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend’s here; a long weekend to boot! No more slaving for a few days, but plenty partying time. Thank God is Friday yes!’ 

And that’s okay to a certain extent, it’s good to be off for the weekend, but the weekend is not just to party, especially this one. It’s a time to seriously and sincerely ponder the basis of our Christian faith and our individual allegiance to it. But since the heathen has no knowledge or interest in the things of God, they just continue along their merry way rejoicing in the lust of the flesh and human senses. 

In time though, we Christians will also be celebrating, but today is a day for mourning, a time for grief and sadness, while remembering that that only lasts for a night, but joy comes in the bright light of the morning. 

And does it ever, with Jesus’ resurrection! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, let’s stay on Good Friday, first by chanting our Friday Chant, which is still appropriate, since we’ve had a hard week of work and now have a few days off which we must use wisely. 

So please let’s chant together: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yeh friends, that’s a much better way to use the weekend, rather than just senseless partying and fleshly lusting. And our Bit is also ever so appropriate for today. ‘For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.’ 

Ah mih people, that’s the part we don’t like; the suffering for Jesus’ sake. It was okay for Him to suffer for us, but we should just have life clear and easy now. Unfortunately that’s not how it works precious people. As Christians, followers of Christ, we will also be called on to face physical, mental and emotional pain. It’s all part and parcel of His offer of salvation. 

Oh friends, I wonder if we have ever sat down and contemplated exactly the ‘sufferation’ Jesus went through for us? Have you ever considered the flogging, with whips embedded with flesh cutting particles? Or what about the crown of thorns pressed down unto His head? Or the psychological and verbal abuse, the cruel taunting and mocking He endured between Pilate and Herod’s yards? 

Remember Jesus was human too and felt all that we feel. Then having been flogged and tormented, He was made to carry His own cross up to Calvary Hill. Thank God for Simon the Cyrene yes! I think the sight of Jesus struggling along with His cross was just too much for the Father and He introduced Simon into the mix of things. 

And if all of that wasn’t bad enough, Jesus was then nailed hand and foot to the cross and left in the hot noonday sun, approximately three hours, for the life blood to slowly but ever so painfully ebb out of His abused and banged up body. And don’t forget the javelin in His side. And when He cried out for thirst they ignominiously gave Him sour wine. 

Oh my fellow believers, ordinary crucifixion is one of the most cruel and painful ways man has ever invented for human suffering, but Jesus’ crucifixion was extraordinary, so you can imagine the pain and anguish, because both the Romans and Jewish people went to great lengths to make a sorrowful spectacle and example of Him, between two ordinary criminals, naked as a jaybird. 

But yuh know what, throughout it all, Jesus stood His bounce, He took it all like a man, ‘despising the shame,’ for the joy that was to come, and He knew that that was the main purpose for which He had come to earth. 

The only thing that seemed to truly bother Him was the purposed and painful first and last separation ever from the Father, as all our sins were placed on Him, and He cried out ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani” which is, being interpreted (translated), My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ (Mark 15:34) 

So friends, please, let’s not make a big fuss for the comparable little suffering we sometimes have to undergo on Jesus’ behalf. We all know that suffering is painful and we’d like to avoid it, but that’s just not possible in this world. It will be in the next one, when Jesus returns as a mighty conqueror. 

So having considered the extent of Jesus’ ‘sufferation’ on our behalf, let’s just hunker down and do what we need to do, without too much complaining nuh. Remember the Lord will enable us to bear whatever He allows to come our way, just like He enabled Jesus to bear His pain on that long ago Good Friday. 

And I’d like to end with one of my favourite childhood hymns that tells of Jesus’ demise upon the cross, titled ‘There Is A Green Hill Far Away.’ Please sing it with me, as we consider and ponder this day on Calvary. 

‘There is a green hill far away, Without a city wall, Where the dear Lord was crucified, Who died to save us all. (Refrain) (O dearly, dearly, has He LOVED, And we must LOVE Him, too, and trust in His redeeming blood, And try His works to do.) 

We may not know, we cannot tell, What pains he had to bear, But we believe it was for us, He hung and suffered there. (Refrain) He died that we might be forgiven, He died to make us good, That we might go at last to Heav’n, Saved by His precious blood. (Refrain) 

There was no other good enough To pay the price of sin. He only could unlock the gate Of heav’n and let us in. Oh, dearly, dearly has he loved! And we must love him too, And trust in his redeeming blood, And try his works to do.’ 

Yes Friends, that’s what we, as followers of Christ need to do! Have a blessed Good Friday! Much LOVE!

…what’s a little Christian suffering…compared to Christ’s ‘sufferation’ eh…

 

Previous Older Entries